New research released today from Harris Interactive, conducted on behalf of CouponCabin.com, provides a sobering look at how prevalent the practice of showrooming is among smartphone- and tablet-owning retail shoppers. Showrooming is where retail shoppers use their smartphone or tablet to look up lower prices on items they see in the retail showroom to purchase later from an online merchant.
According to the survey, more than 43% of smartphone and tablet owning consumers admit to showrooming. This figure, alarmingly close to 50%, is likely to be much higher than many industry observers would have expected.
The U.S. Commerce Department released the latest data on new residential construction today and the results caught most off-guard as it was significantly better than expected with September overall housing starts increasing to 872,000 units – an amazing 15% over the revised August figure of 758,000. This data clearly suggests the nightmare of the 2007 housing market collapse can start to become a memory as the market recovers from a very scary bottom reached in the middle of 2009 when starts were at the lowest levels ever recorded since 1959.
As long time readers of strata-GEE.com (and the previous stratecongroup.com) know, for the last three years, we have conducted a survey of our readers on their attitudes of both the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the CEDIA EXPO. Last month, our CEDIA EXPO survey saw a dramatic increase in participation – up over 90%.
Over 80% of the participants completed the entire survey and a review of the survey results showed that we got a lot of great comments on our open-ended questions. Whether positive or negative, it was clear that strata-GEE.com readers were serious, thoughtful, engaged, and concerned about this event.
Now, in a first for us, CEDIA responds to our survey – and more – in an exclusive interview… Continue reading →
Nortek, Inc. announced today the appointment of Scott Campbell to Vice President and Chief Supply Chain Officer. A newly created position, the company says that the executive will be responsible for “creating, driving and implementing” an enterprise-grade, global supply chain strategy. Continue reading →
The Nikkei reported today that Pioneer Corporation is planning to use contract manufacturers in Indonesia for the production of its automotive sound systems starting next spring. According to the report, the company is “facing a shrinking market for its mainline car navigation equipment.”
News emerged today that Italian holding company Fine Sounds SpA has acquired 100% of McIntosh Laboratory, the Binghamton, NY-based high-end brand most recently owned by D&M Holdings. The announcement – which came from Fine Sounds, contained only a short statement from Charles Randall, President of McIntosh, with no other comments attributed to D&M Holdings or its parent Bain Capital.
Fine Sounds, backed by private equity company Quadrivio – also based in Milan, Italy – is the owner and distributor of other high-end brands such as Sonus Faber, Audio Research Corporation, Wadia Digital, and Sumiko. According to the company, their strategy is to “offer products that are the best in the world in their category.
Launched earlier this week at DEMO, the high-tech conference in Silicon Valley that just wrapped up, start-up company ube won the People’s Choice Award and $1 million worth of media from IDG properties. We profiled ube in our post here…saying that they just may be on to something and the DEMO judges apparently agree.
At last month’s CEDIA Expo in Indianapolis, we learned about – and reported on – a new venture by industry stalwart Joe Piccirilli to sell a residential energy storage hub under the Rosewater Energy Group brand. Their hub uses rechargeable batteries to store energy from the power grid, or from renewable sources (i.e. solar panels, wind turbines), or even from a back-up generator to condition the energy and power your home.
Now news comes out of Asia that Japanese industry, in conjunction with the Japanese government, is preparing a proposal for the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) to set international standards for the fledgling residential storage industry.
Why is Japan focusing on residential energy storage? Read below to see why… Continue reading →
It seems that a great green wave is sweeping over Japan as the government and several businesses partner to drive adoption of, and set standards for, the residential energy storage (RES) system business. In a separate post, we reported on a story out of Japan of an effort by Toshiba, Hitachi, and the Japanese government to persuade the IEC, an international standards setting commission, to set an international standard for RES systems based on their proposal.
And on the same day that this was reported, separately the NEC Corp. announced that they have partnered with Orix Corp. to roll-out a national program (in the domestic Japan market) to lease NEC residential energy storage systems to consumers. Although these systems are not new, they have struggled to grow their share of the market – largely because the systems tend to be expensive.
In a rash of fast-paced announcements, it is clear that 3vNet continues to push forward with their rapid business ramp-up. Newly independent from former parent, Russound, the company has moved quickly to establish their own identity with an all-new website and several new executives joining the organization. On Monday, we learned that 3vNet has hired Timothy Dunigan as Manager, Training and Education.